Retiring principal leaving with ‘many fond memories’

Retiring St Patrick's PS principal Martin Coyle.
Retiring St Patrick's PS principal Martin Coyle.

The retiring principal of one of Derry’s largest primary schools says he’s leaving with “many fond memories.”

Martin Coyle - who is standing down as head of St Patrick’s PS, Pennyburn, after 19 years - says he departs with “great hope for the future of the best school in Derry.”

In a letter to parents, Mr. Coyle says that, during his two decades at the school, he has come to know “many of you very well.”

He adds: “As I meet the parents of the school every day, I never cease to be deeply impressed by the love and care that you continue to lavish on your children, sometimes in the most difficult and challenging of domestic circumstances, and by the support that you have given me in my work.”

Turning to the current economic climate and its impact on schools, Mr. Coyle says: “It presents new and difficult challenges for parents and teachers alike and the future for our children is full of uncertainty. All the more reason to remain positive and forward looking in the sure hope that ‘things can only get better’.”

He says it’s been an honour to lead St Patrick’s for the past 19 years.

“It has been a privilege to serve the parish of St Patrick’s and its people. It has been a delight and joy to come to know all the wonderful children who are presently at the school, together with all their big brothers and sisters, many of whom I meet now as parents bringing their own children to school!”

Turning to his successor, Eamon Devlin - the current head of Long Tower PS - Mr. Coyle says he knows he shares with him the “determination” to make the transition as “smooth as it can possibly be, to the benefit of all those in the school community, especially the children in our care.”

“I know also that I leave in safe hands the caring and nurturing atmosphere, the excellent behaviour of our pupils and the high educational standards that are such an important part of the reputation of the school.”

(See Page 19 for school photo).